September 22, 2023
Appointed for Such a Time as This
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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
I was seven months pregnant, sitting on the sofa in my family room, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Two planes had just crashed into the World Trade Center … on purpose.
My baby will be here in two months, I thought. What kind of evil world is he about to enter? Will he even have a chance?
I called a friend. She was as stunned and heartbroken as I was. We processed our thoughts out loud … and we prayed.
Fast-forward about 10 years, and smartphones became the newest thing. Suddenly, the internet was literally in the palm of our hands, and so was our access to sin. The thought of raising my boys in this technology-obsessed age began to overwhelm me.
I called my friend (the same one I called after 9/11). She understood my fears and allowed me to process my thoughts out loud again.
“Even if my boys aren’t trying to look up something inappropriate, what if a classmate jokingly shows it to them? And then they’re hooked. What then? In what kind of world are we raising our children?” I asked her. “Will my boys even have a chance?”
My friend reminded me that perversity and temptation are nothing new. (Just read through the Old Testament!) But God always gives His children strength to overcome. Remember Potiphar’s lustful wife? She wouldn’t leave Joseph alone, but God gave Joseph the wisdom and discernment to run away (Genesis 39).
God knew we would face the challenges we face today. My friend and I had faith that if we continued to pray and stand on the principles found in His Word, God would give us the same wisdom and favor He gave Joseph.
We ended our conversation by praying for our children.
Fast-forward another 10 years, and it was 2020. I was driving home from work, still trying to process what I'd just seen. Empty milk, meat and toilet paper aisles, not to mention checkout lines winding halfway through the store. It felt apocalyptic.
What in the world? A pandemic?
I called my friend (yep, the same faithful one). I voiced my thoughts: “In two months, my baby is supposed to graduate from high school. What kind of world will he enter?”
We reminded one another of this truth: God knows all things. He knew this was going to happen â¦ and that we would all be a part of it.
In Jeremiah 1:5, God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Before Jeremiah was even born, God knew Jeremiah would be the “weeping prophet” and speak out against evil during crazy times in Israel’s history.
God also created Esther knowing full well that her plight would not be easy. He knew she would become an orphan and that she’d one day be forced into a contest to compete for the title of queen. But as Esther’s uncle reminded her, she was born “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14, NIV) — and so are we.
God knew my oldest son would be two months away from his high school graduation, and my youngest son would be one lesson away from getting his driver’s license, during a pandemic.
God knew our plans, and He knew they would be ever changing.
Still, God has given us and our children everything we need … not just to make it through whatever season we’re in but to thrive and be His voice of hope.
As I pulled up to my house that evening after work, my friend and I did what we always do during uncertain times. We closed in prayer.
Nothing the world throws at us can change God’s plan.
Before He created you and me, He knew us and what was in store for us. We have been appointed for such a time as this.
Lord, thank You for the hope we have in You. When You created us, You knew the difficult times we would find ourselves in. Equip us and allow us to be Your voice of hope to the world around us. Please cover us with Your peace and protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Saying “yes” to God does not require us to have all the details of what we’re walking into, but it does require taking a small step of faith exactly where He has placed us. Learn more in our next study, Right Where You’re Supposed To Be: A Study of the Book of Esther, starting September 25 in the free First 5 mobile app. Click here to order your study guide.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (NKJV).
Esther 4:14, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (ESV).
How have recent events affected your feelings about your God-given purpose? Take a moment to ask the Lord for creative and practical ways to continue walking in your purpose and being a light to the world around you.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments! What has God been teaching you lately in light of all that’s going on in the world?
© 2023 by Binu Samuel. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 22 September 2023.